The Arizona Desert Lamp

Sonora Review on David Foster Wallace

Posted in Alumni, Culture by Connor Mendenhall on 12 January 2009

David Foster Wallace is one of the University of Arizona’s most brilliant alumni,[1] but save for a brief tribute in the Wildcat and a low rumble among English majors, the author’s September death went more or less unnoticed on campus. Thankfully, UA’s grad student-run literary journal, Sonora Review, is set to give Wallace the recognition he deserves in an upcoming special issue. In addition to brief interviews with hideous men like Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, and Rick Moody, they’ll be republishing a story by the man himself, who served as fiction editor during his time at UA. Watch their blog for information on ordering a copy.

Evan gave a few essay endorsements last time, but if you’re hooked on DFW, you should also check out prescriptive usage made fun, observations from the 2000 McCain campaign, and Wallace’s undergrad philosophy thesis—or at least, this essay explaining it.


[Back] cf. Messrs. Rivera, Bruckheimer, Dole; Mlle. Richie.

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4 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 12 January 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I was really upset about how downplayed his death was. He was arguably one of the best contemporary writers, and as a product of the UA, he should have had more recognition. His McCain observations in CONSIDER THE LOBSTER were interesting to read about last September.

  2. J.D. said, on 12 January 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Sadly, I hadn’t read any DFW prior to his death, but ‘Consider the Lobster’ is probably one of my favorite books now. I’m glad to hear about the Sonora Review tribute.

  3. Matt Styer said, on 13 January 2009 at 1:51 am

    Cool article on what his philosophy thesis was about. I’ve got a lot of the same general concerns about how problematic concepts can be. Good finds and good calling attention to this, Connor.

  4. Connor Mendenhall said, on 13 January 2009 at 9:55 am

    Thanks. Looks like there’s an event planned at the Poetry Center on May 1, too. Fortunately, there’s at least one UA English instructor who teaches “Consider the Lobster” in freshman comp. That essay—actually, a footnote in that essay—had some mind-blowingly profound things to say about tourism and authenticity that keep popping up for me. Ditto for pretty much everything else—”Tense Present” is especially brilliant, IMHO.


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